What DBSA is doing to help SA and neighbouring countries address climate change

Climate change and global warming have been at the heart of global discussions for many centuries. However, during the past few decades, scientists have been closely observing a significant rise in environmental effects all over the world. This accelerated the need for fundamental discussions and research on the causes and the impacts of both of these factors on the global and national scales.


What is the distinction between climate change and global warming?

Climate change and global warming are often used interchangeably, but climate change refers to the long-term fluctuation of the average weather temperatures and patterns. On the other hand, global warming refers to the rise of temperatures which are caused by the increase in concentration levels of greenhouse gas due to human-made activities. Overall, global warming is more of a contributing factor to climate change than a synonym.

How does climate change impact our lives? 

Climate change is an enormous challenge that each continent is working hard to understand and dissect. We’ve seen and felt the impacts of climate change in South Africa through the various and deteriorating water resources, food security, infrastructure, biodiversity, ecosystem and health services.

What is DBSA doing about this catastrophic challenge?

Climate change solutions go beyond investing in research; they call for proactive approaches such as establishing and implementing renewable energy, among other things. As the Development Bank of Southern Africa, it is our role to deliver infrastructure and economic development aid in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. We do this through the groundwork of enlisting financial (and other resources) assistance from national and international private and public industry partners. We are heavily involved in large scale infrastructure projects within the private and public sector, with a primary focus on the water, energy, transport and the information and communications technology (ICT) sectors.   

Within our strategy structure, we have multiple programmes that ensure that we meet our goals:

The DBSA Project Preparation Funding 

The DBSA Project Preparation Funding was established to only focus on creating an environment where infrastructure projects can be implemented and thrive on conducting pre-feasibility studies and bankable feasibility studies. Feasibility studies refer to the analysis of the project’s potential success. The infrastructures this fund focuses on are the energy, water and sanitation, transport and logistics as well as the information and communications technology (ICT) sectors.   

The Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa (IIPSA)

The IPPSA was developed in collaboration with the European Union, and other development finance institutions, such as the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD), KWF Development Bank, and European Investment Bank (EIB).

This fund focuses on transport and logistics infrastructure, and energy infrastructure, which includes energy efficiency, safety and security. It also looks into the protection of the environment, including water resource management, the promotion of low carbon and cleaner industrial production as well as the promotion of climate change adaptation technologies and related structure. Lastly, it manages social services and infrastructures, which include improvements in health services installation in urban and rural areas. This leads to better education facilities, housing and public buildings, and spaces.

The Project Preparation and Development Facility (PPDF)

This programme is designed to create a conducive environment for investment through financing the preparation of infrastructure projects that enable regional integration. It also focuses on providing technical assistance for infrastructure project identification, preparation and feasibility studies, with a strategy of making the project bankable and attractive to potential investors.

The PPDF is available to the transport infrastructure, energy generation, transmission, information and communication technologies, water and sanitation, and tourism-related infrastructure.

The Pan African Capacity Building Programme (PACBP) 

This programme was created in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation. The key objective of this programme is to focus on skills development in the energy, roads and transportation, and water and sanitation infrastructures. Mostly, to build capacity for infrastructural and economic development in the sub-Saharan part of Africa.

The Green Fund 

The Green Fund is designed with the Department of Environmental Affairs, specifically for green initiatives. These initiatives were established to support the country’s transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient and climate-resilient development journey.


Addressing climate change 

Through these funding programmes, the DBSA teams have been able to promote inter-regional integration and cooperation between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as the adjoining regional economic communities in other countries within the continent of Africa.

An example of this is our recent Ignite Mozambique initiative, which aims to facilitate the implementation of sustainable development activities to boost the country’s economic structure through clean, safe and sustainable energy resources.